The Best Dog Trainers in Massachusetts of 2022

Welcome to the Massachusetts Sniffspot top dog trainer list for 2022. This is a list of the top dog trainers in Massachusetts based on votes from the Sniffspot community and the general public. Over 45,000 votes were used in compiling this list. We have only included the top trainers with sufficient votes and the trainers are ordered in terms of the number of votes received. Trainers that tied are ranked in reverse alphabetical order based on first name. All dog trainers on this list are positive reinforcement only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used

Dog training is one of the most important activities someone can do with their dog. Many come to dog training through a specific issue they want addressed, anything from barking to separation anxiety. Some have adopted dogs from animal shelters with an abusive experience and some just have happy puppies looking for everyday life skills. Trainers can help with all kinds of specific skills and issues, from leash manners to territorial aggression to anxiety around skateboards to common puppy challenges. However, what many discover is that working with a trainer is actually a way for a pet owner to deepen their relationship with their dog. The enhanced communication skills that result can increase quality of life, be a rewarding experience, be a social experience and lead to more harmonious relationships. Knowing that one’s dog is having a happier life can dramatically improve peace of mind. As the saying goes: happy dog, happy life. And it extends further than just the dog, to the pet owners. Owner empowerment can actually improve the relationship between owners. And finding the right trainer can make all the difference in the experience.

This list is compiled by Sniffspot, which is the largest network of private dog parks for rent in the world. Each of the thousands of Sniffspot dog parks are hosted by locals on private land with 100% private bookings to maximize safety for guests and their dogs. Sniffspot offers various types of dog parks, including fenced, water parks, indoor dog parks, dog beaches and more. Sniffspot has worked closely with dog trainers to create safe spaces for dogs and our top trainer lists are a natural extension of that relationship. You can browse Sniffspot's local dog parks here.

The Best Massachusetts Dog Trainers in 2022

Aubrey Sperry

Aubrey Sperry, CDBC, CPDT-KA, is the owner and head trainer of Sit Pretty Dog Training. She is certified by the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants as a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), by the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA), and by Fear Free as a Fear Free Certified Trainer.

Aubrey is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the Pet Professional Guild, and she has worked professionally with animals since 2007. She gained experience teaching people while working as an educator at the Los Angeles Zoo, and learned to work with various dog breeds as a veterinary technician in an emergency and specialty practice in Los Angeles. More recently in Boston, Aubrey worked as a zookeeper at the Franklin Park Zoo, where she trained or assisted in training a variety of exotic animals.As her career progressed from vet tech to zookeeper to aquarium vet tech, Aubrey realized dog training is her first love.

During her five years working in the veterinary field, she noticed that the discomfort animals can have in veterinary clinics makes work difficult for veterinarians and can make dogs and their owners anxious. She has also seen instances of dogs being returned to shelters and rescues due to a lack of training. These situations ranged from differing energy levels between an owner and the dog chosen, to leash reactivity in the city, to simple misunderstanding of normal dog behavior. Being a witness to these common problems has led Aubrey to work with dogs in a way that reduces frustration in dogs and their owners with supportive and positive communication.

Aubrey wants to be there to support new dog owners, veterinary clinicians and their clients, and people who are struggling to maintain a balanced city life with their dogs. As a veterinary technician and avid participant in dog sports, Aubrey has worked with many different dog breeds, and knows how to tailor training regimens to suit different temperaments of individual dogs. She believes that many dogs can adapt to fit a lifestyle that suits a city dweller with the right training and mental stimulation. Aubrey lives in West Roxbury with her two dogs, Jolene and Guillermo. They are active in the dog sport flyball and can be seen with their team, Ready, Set, Ruckus!, at tournaments throughout the year.

Aubrey also enjoys working her dogs in rally obedience, dock diving, canine frisbee, lure coursing, and nosework. She also works hard to make sure her dogs are well adjusted city dwellers. Say hi if you see them around West Rox or JP.

Certifications: CDBC, CPDT-KA, Fear Free Certified Trainer, CGC Evaluator

Services include:
  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
Behavioral issue focus:

As a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Aubrey Sperry offers behavioral consultations for dogs with aggressive behaviors directed toward humans, dogs, and other animals. Sit Pretty Dog Training offers training and behavior consults for dogs that have bitten or injured another animal or human as well as dogs that growl or bite when a person approaches while they are enjoying a valued item (food or toy). Additionally, Sit Pretty services dogs with reactivity, including inappropriate barking and lunging at people or other animals.

Training methods:

Private clients get started with a consultation, which is a 90 minute in home visit. At that session, your dog's behavioral and training history is discussed, your goals for training are prioritized, then a training plan is started. Foundation training typically consists of marker training and improving communication, discussion of safety, and adding management to your household that would prevent the practice of unwanted or unsafe behaviors.

Service area:

Serving Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Roslindale, Brookline, Dorchester, Chestnut Hill, Newton, Needham, and Dedham. Services rendered outside of these neighborhoods will incur service fees, please inquire for more information.

Website: https://www.sitprettydogtraining.com


Janice Gifford

I'm a certified professional dog trainer who uses positive reinforcement methods to train and modify behavior.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Reactivity - fear, anxiety, or stress related reactivity on leash. Over-excited greeters with people and other dogs.

Training methods:

Science based training methods - positive reinforcement training, along with management to prevent the rehearsal of unwanted behaviors.

Service area:

Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate areas to East Bridgewater, Halifax areas to Milton, Quincy, Dorchester areas.

Website: https://www.pawsitivelyobedient.com


Emma Schneidkraut

I began my training career as a training and behavior intern at The Humane Society of Boulder Valley in Boulder, Colorado. I provided behavior modification for shelter dogs so that they could be adoption candidates. Once I moved to New England I became a Training and Behavior Coordinator at The New Hampshire SPCA, where I provided training, and enrichment for shelter dogs, group classes, and private training for the public.

In addition to being a Karen Pryor Certified Training Partner, I have my CPDT-KA through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers - (CCPDT), I am a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC), and I am currently pursuing my certification with the incomparable Leslie McDevitt to become a Certified Control Unleashed Instructor (CCUI). With my own business, A Dog's Eye View, I provide private in home training, day training, and hope to do some outdoor group classes. I currently provide referral services through a number of veterinary hospitals in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. I regularly offer Control Unleashed and reactive dog classes at Fit N Trim Dog Sport Training in Rowley, MA.

Certifications: KPA CTP, CPDT-KA

Services include:
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
Behavioral issue focus:

Reactivity, fear, stranger danger, puppy basics, basic manners, Control Unleashed for basic manners and behavior modification.

Training methods:

Clicker and marker training, force free and cooperative, behavior consulting, training packages, with consistent email follow ups and training plans for continued success.

Service area:

Haverhill, MA and surrounding areas including Southern New Hampshire and North Shore MA

Website: https://www.facebook.com/adogseyeviewMA/


Ruth Hegarty

Ruth Hegarty combines life coaching and dog training to transform dog behavior through positive rewards-based training, increase understanding to reduce conflict between dog and handler and empower people to have the life they've always wanted with their dog.

Ruth teaches basic manners, behavior modification and works extensively with reactive dogs. She has special programs for newly adopted dogs to help them and their family settle in happily together.

Certifications: Certified dog trainer, Certified Dog Bite Prevention Educator, Fear Free Shelters Graduate, Dog First Aid & CPR Certified, Certified Life Coach, Certified Educator

Services include:
  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
Behavioral issue focus:

I work with reactive dog behaviors, separation anxiety, resource guarding, aggression, problem behaviors such as excessive barking, jumping on people, escaping, chewing, etc.

Training methods:

I create customized training plans for each dog and provide support between sessions and post program. As an educator and life coach, I work as much with the humans as the dogs to build everyone's handling confidence and create a lifestyle that works for them. I use positive training methods and communication theory to help dogs and their people work together.

Service area:

For in person training, I cover Boston, Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, Lexington, Bedford, Medford

Website: https://www.creaturegooddogtraining.com


Donna Culbert

I am a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and have been training dogs on the South Shore and Boston Area since 2004. I am the Owner of Donna's Do Right Dogs LLC and the Co Training Director of New England Dog Training Club of Cambridge, MA. I work with all breeds, sizes and temperaments from puppies to fearful and reactive adult dogs. I have been employed by and volunteered for local shelter and rescues by entire career.

I am committed to ensuring the puppies start off with proper socialization and teaching their families to have the skills to raise them.

Certifications: CPDT-KA, AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator

Services include:
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
Behavioral issue focus:

Donna provides behavior plans for reactive dogs, fear issues, separations anxiety, pulling on leash, recalls, new rescue dogs and puppy basics.

Training methods:

I use positive reinforcement using what motivates your dogs (food, play, toys etc...) All clients are provided with written instructions and phone/email support.

Service area:

South of Boston MA: Quincy, Weymouth, Hingham, Norwell, Hanover, Scituate

Website: https://donnasdorightdogs.com/


Diane Kurkjian

I am the owner of Everydog Training Center in Danvers, MA. We provide group and private classes in manners and sports.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:
  • Reactive dog training
Behavioral issue focus:

Fearful and reactive behaviors

Training methods:

We use positive reinforcement based methods.

Service area:

Danvers and surrounding towns

Website: https://www.everydogtrainingcenter.com


Sara Marshall

Helping You and Your Dog Speak The Same Language

Certifications: CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

Services include:
  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training
Behavioral issue focus:

Sara frequently works with dogs that are labeled fearful or aggressive, helping their humans learn how to support them and teach them more appropriate behavior.

Training methods:

Sara offers stand-alone behavior consultations to address a single behavioral concern: these include safety & management considerations and a basic plan for moving forward. Typically a package of the initial consultation and weekly sessions is most suitable for clients seeking to modify their dog's behavior as it provides extra support, hands-on guidance and feedback. Sara helps her clients use positive reinforcement training and environmental management to teach their dogs what they want them to do while preventing rehearsal of unwanted behaviors.

Service area:

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Website: https://www.pawsintranslation.com


Jenny Efimova

Jenny Efimova is a Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) and Fear Free Certified Training Professional. Jenny is skilled in using evidence-based positive reinforcement training and behavior modification techniques that are humane, effective, and safe.

Certifications: KPA CTP

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://www.dogminded.training


Dan Carlson

15+ years in the pet care industry training dogs, teaching classes and helping people.

Certifications: CPDT-KA

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://walkapup.com


John Nys

John Nys Bio John has been involved in animal training for over 25 years. He started his devotion to training horses at an early age. John has won multiple National Championships with his horses and was the Massachusetts National Barrel Horse Rodeo Champion in 2002. On to Agility, John has been competing on the local, national and international dog agility stage for over 15 years.

During this time, he has become one of the most respected competitors and instructors in agility. He is well known for his positive motivation and mental management/coaching with his students and his canine companions. Size doesn't matter when competing in dog agility, as John has competed successfully with multiple canine partners in the small, medium and large dog divisions resulting in John realizing his dreams and achievements at all height levels.

John and his 'teammates' have earned 30 Master Agility Champion Titles. He is a 10-time International World Team Member with 4 different canine partners. John has represented the US 6 times as an AKC World Team member at the FCI World Championships (Rush and Boss), 3 times at the European Open Championships (Rush, Trick and Boss) and on the 2015 World Agility Open US Team with Trick and Rush.In 2010 John and Rush took hone the FCI Silver Medal in Individual Agility, FCI Silver Medal in the Individual Overall Combined, and the FCI Silver Medal in Team Jumping. In 2014 John and Rush took home the FCI Silver Medal in Team Agility and the FCI Gold Medal in Team Overall Combined events. In 2015 John and Rush took home Silver in the WAO Team Event.

John and Rush are one of the most decorated world agility teams with 5 Silver Medals and 1 Gold Medal in the individual agility, jumping and team events. John is also a multiple Westminster - Masters of Agility Championships finalist with Rush, Trick and Boss in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. In 2017 Trick was awarded the Westminster‘s Grand Champion Title. Boss placed 2nd in 2019 and was the 16 inch overall champion in 2021. John has been a consistent finalist at the AKC National Agility Championships and USDAA World Cynosport Grand Prix/Steeple Chase Championships on over a dozen occasions, placing in the top 3 on over 9 occasions and winning the USDAA World Cynosport Grand Prix Championships in 2010. John has also won numerous USDAA Regional Championships and ISC High Combined Titles with multiple canine partners.

John's accomplishments have been earned and realized through the dedication and training of all his canine partners, for which none of this would have been possible without them: Casey, Blink, Rush, Trick, Boss, Shya and now introducing, Jovi

Certifications: 12 Agility World Team and AKC Finalist

Behavioral issue focus:

Basic obedience. - Agility

Training methods:

Positive training techniques

Service area:

Metro Providence RI. southern Worcester County and metro west Boston

Website: https://agilityrushk9.com/


Kristen Lee

Modern dog training that is: Positive reinforcement-based‚ Force free‚ Humane‚ Backed by science‚ Always learning.

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

  • In home training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://blackdogtraining.wordpress.com/


Jenn Frankavitz

Starting as a dog trainer was an easy choice as a lifelong animal lover! I have a passion for working with reactive and aggressive dogs and their humans, as well as puppy-rearing to prevent a lot of common behavioral problems.

I have been training professionally for over 10 years, and own a fear free facility in Beverly, MA where we focus on a quality daycare experience for your dog, fear free grooming, training, and more!

Certifications: CPDT-KA, AKC-CGC, SDC, ANWI, FFCP (Trainer)

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Board and train
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Service dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://www.fourleggersdoggiedaycare.com


Tracey Costa

Tracey Costa is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI). She left the corporate world to raise a family and began to teach environmental programs to elementary and middle school children. Around the same time, her interest in the science behind dog training began and her love of Nose Work soon followed. She has attended dog training seminars as well as multiple K9 Nose Work Camps. She is the past Vice President of the West Highland White Terrier Club of New England and continues to sit on the board.

Tracey is an approved AKC Canine Good Citizen Evaluator and is certified in pet CPR and First Aid. Her dogs are both Canine Good Citizens and are retired Therapy Dogs (TDI). Her dog, Maisie is the first Westie to have earned the K9 Nose Work titles - NW1, NW3, NW3 Elite, Elite 2 . Tracey is an advocate for humane and force-free dog training. Training techniques are reward-based. Science has proven that animals do not need to be physically punished to learn proper behavior. A verbal marker or clicker will be used during training sessions.

Certifications: Certified Professional Dog Trainer - Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA) and a Certified Nose Work Instructor (CNWI)

Services include:

  • Protection/guard dog training

Website: https://www.positivenotedogtraining.com


Sandra Leiser

At Right Vibe Dog Training I bring competence, thoroughness, certification and compassion to table. Positive reinforcement methods bring positive results to dog training and learning. I want to help you and your dog be better together and have fun training.

Certifications: Karen Pryor Academy - Certified Training Partner

Services include:

  • In home training

Website: https://www.rightvibedogtraining.com


Heather Garre Day

Heather is the founder and owner of Tail Waggin' Dog Training. Heather holds her associates degree in business from The University of Southern Maine, as well as earning her Advanced Dog Educator/ Trainer certificates from Jo-Thors' Dog Training Academy in Marietta, GA. She is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and continuously attends seminars and conferences such as the annual APDT Conference and clicker expo.Continuously improving her skills, Heather's most recent certification was achieved in December 2020. She is now certified by the Karen Pryor Academy in the Animal Training & Behavior, Puppy Start Right for Instructors course.

You can see more information about the certification here.Heather also became a Certified Training Partner (CPT) from the Karen Pryor Academy (KPA), a rigorous program based on the most up-to-date behavior science and modern training and teaching practices earlier in 2020.As well as being an active member and trainer for the Cape Cod Kennel Club, she is a certified evaluator for the American Kennel Club's S.T.A.R. Puppy and Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International.

Heather is also a certified agility instructor through White Mountain Agility School. Heather is a devoted animal specialist and caring pet owner. She has been working with animals professionally for the past twenty-seven years. Heather, a native Cape Codder, currently has a Border Collies, a Border Collie Mix, one cat and a Green Winged Macaw, all of which are rescues and live in Brewster, MA. Her specialty is working with behavior-specific issues utilizing clicker training, positive cues and reinforcement 'Training your dog is all about achieving a positive relationship between you and your dog and having fun while doing so' says Heather.

Certifications: KPA-CTP

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • In home training
  • Deaf dog training
  • Reactive dog training
  • Off leash training

Website: https://www.tailwaggindogtraining.com


Daria Pannesi

After many years chained to a desk I decided to go off leash and run free by starting my own pet service business. Ever since I can remember I was surrounded by animals. In fact, my family proudly boasts a long lineage of canines who were always a part of every family gathering. From the time I discovered the love of animals, at a very young age living in Africa, I knew I was hooked. Growing up there I cultivated a profound respect for and understanding of animals. With that in mind I created StrutnPup.

A pet service company that caters to the needs of pet owners including: pet sitting of dogs, cats, birds, fish, reptiles and small animals, dog walking and exercising, veterinary visits, plant watering, mail collection, holiday or vacation care, and special care for young, elderly, and sick animals.Daily excursions are also available such as beach walks and hikes. StrutnPup offers a full and active visit with pets. Dog walks are dynamic and engaging keeping the dog's mind healthy and alert. Pet sitting services include multiple daily visits, play time and cuddles.

Rates start as low as $15.00 and StrutnPup is fully bonded and insured for all services provided. StrutnPup is also a proud member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Inc. Additionally both my Manager Kevia and I are certified Advanced Canine Training and Behavior Specialists with degrees from the Animal Behavior Institute. As an animal lover, I want to create a safe haven for pets - a way to enhance their lives and provide a healthy environment using a reliable and trustworthy service. My goal is to give each animal the love and respect they deserve. So please give me a buzz or drop me a note and join my pack !

Certifications: Certified Advanced Canine Training and Behavior Specialists with degrees from the Animal Behavior Institute

Services include:

  • Aggressive dog training
  • Reactive dog training

Website: https://www.strutnpup.com/


Sniffspot Massachusetts Top Trainer Frequently Asked Questions

How are Massachusetts dog trainers selected for this list?

These are the top dog trainers in Massachusetts as selected by broad voting from the Sniffspot community and the general public. These trainers are expert dog trainers, who received votes from their delighted customers, due to their excellent dedication to customer service, excellent results and general care they exhibit for their clients. Many have worked with thousands of dogs and are highly experienced trainers.

How can I get in touch with dog trainers?

Each of the trainer profiles contains a link to their website. You can click through to their website where you can find more contact information.

Are these Massachusetts dog trainers certified professionals?

Dog training is not regulated at the federal or state level, so there is no standard dog training certification and professional trainers are not required to be certified. However, certifications are important to show that a professional dog trainer has a standard of expertise to help train your dog. Each trainer’s certifications are listed on their profile.

What are the top certifications for Dog Trainers in Massachusetts?

Some of the top certifications in the dog training industry are CPDT- KA, IAABC, Karen Pryor Academy - KPA certification, Jean Donaldson's Academy - CTC certification and Fear Free Certification. You can review the dog trainer certifications for each specific dog trainer on their profile on this page.

What methods are used in the dog training sessions?

There are many methods for teaching dogs and a lot of disagreement about the correct training approach. All of the Massachusetts trainers included on this list use positive reinforcement training only, as defined by no force, fear, intimidation, or aversive methods used. This includes not using any specifically aversive approach to training or training aid, such as a prong or electronic dog training collar (also called remote dog training collar or shock collars). As for specific training programs and specialties, such as day training / doggie daycare or obedience training, you can see more information in each trainer’s profile.

Are dog training lessons in a training facility or are virtual options available?

Some dog trainers operate exclusively from a training facility, some do house calls and some offer video calls or other virtual options. There are pros and cons to each option and the most efficient behavioral training option depends on specific circumstances, for instance, what hours work best for you. A training center or training ranch can be a good option if your training plan requires facilities, training equipment or dedicated space. We recommend reaching out to the specific trainer you are interested in or browsing their website for more information.

Are dog training lessons private or in a group setting?

Every different circumstance of dog and owners may require a different setting, whether it’s housebreaking issues, anxiety issues, lack of proper socialization, food aggression or just bad habits. Each trainer has different offerings as far as whether they can offer clients a private training session or a group class. Trainers provide information about their private class and group class offerings in their profiles and you can browse their website for more information as well. It may make sense for your specific circumstance to reach out to the trainer to ask if they recommend group or private dog training classes. Some trainers also have a team of specialists that can provide even higher levels of service, or provide specialized sessions, such as pack walks.

How much does dog training in Massachusetts cost?

Massachusetts dog trainers have a wide range of costs for different services and phases of training. For instance behavioral modification that involves boarding is often more expensive than day training, and private lessons are generally more expensive than group lessons. Prices can also vary depending on specific behavioral issues. Lastly, some trainers have more overhead than others, We recommend first picking a trainer that provides the services that you are looking for, then reaching out to them to get up to date pricing.

Is training a dog good for the dog?

Yes! Training has many benefits for dogs. Whether with basic training skills or complex training techniques, going through behavior training with your dog can improve the bond that you share with them. Also, training can do a lot to improve the level of confidence enabling of a dog (and it can also help with building customer confidence!). Rather than being about exerting maximum control over them, it gives them more certainty that they understand how the world around them works. For instance, crate training can help a dog feel safe and at home in a crate vs fearful and uncertain. Dog training can teach important skills, such as leash control, potty training or a general level of obedience skills. And lastly, it’s just fun for the dog to learn life skills and for their family. Training can be very stimulating and enriching for a dog and serve them throughout their entire healthy life!

Can an aggressive dog be trained?

Yes! Any dog behavior can be worked on through training and coaching. Aggression in dogs is a serious issue, but it is also a term that is used very broadly. Many dogs that are thought to be aggressive are actually reactive, which is a different behavior altogether. A trainer can help you interpret signs of aggression, such as excessive barking, fear aggression and leash aggression, and type of aggression. If you believe you have a dog with aggressive behaviors, we recommend reaching out to one of your local top trainers to get their diagnosis and advice.

I am a Massachusetts dog trainer. How can I get listed here?

As long as you have a training facility or do in person training in Massachusetts you can be considered for this list. We update this list once per year, normally starting in January. Make sure to keep an eye on our social media and sign up for email updates with Sniffspot in order to be in the loop on the next round of nominations.

How much do dog trainers make in Massachusetts?

Dog trainer earnings vary widely depending on many factors, such as whether a dog trainer is an employee or owns their own full-service professional dog training business. According to ZipRecruiter, the average dog trainer salary in Massachusetts was $33,576 per year and $16.14 per hour. It is impossible to say how much a dog trainer can earn with a full-service professional dog training company, because the size and profitability of companies can vary widely.


See The Best Dog Trainers By City In Massachusetts

Providence, RI


See The Best Dog Trainers In Other States Near Massachusetts

New Hampshire
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